Recently I spent five days in Mazatlan with a group of writers exploring the food and drink of this port city. No small feat, though I dug into my assignment with enthusiasm. Here are a few things I learned:
*The seafood is exceptional, especially Matazlan’s world famous shrimp ceviche.
*So is the local tequila, Los Osuna.
*As are the pastries, candies and all manner of sweets.
*As well as the traditional dishes found just outside of Mazatlan.
*Mazatlan has some great restaurants.
I left Mazatlan with the waistband of my pants slightly tighter and my brain whirling from the variety of all the food and drink I had enjoyed. But I left with more than an appreciation of this city’s food. Mazatlan has much to offer to the traveler looking to escape the winter doldrums.
The aptly named Golden Zone is where people go to chill. You can spend the entire time lounging by the pool or you can engage in the sport fishing Mazatlan is known for as well as scuba diving, sailing, kayaking and the like. Mazatlan also has a growing reputation as a place for eco-tourism especially for visitors who venture to the islands dotting its coastline.
Visitors hoping to absorb a bit of culture should head to the city’s historic center. There’s a hip vibe thanks to the numerous artists refurbishing the colonial homes as well as the outdoor dining scene around the Machado Plaza. Many of these restaurants offer live music, and the Angela Peralta Theater is less than a block away. This relatively tourist-free area also boasts the city’s 19th century Cathedral as well as an art museum, archeology museum and many art galleries.
Our merry band of foodies took two day trips outside Mazatlan where we visited a historic tequila distillery, ate and learned to prepare some traditional dishes and visited a charming village straight out of a picture postcard.
What I will remember most, long after I have dieted and exercised off the pounds I gained during my trip to Mazatlan are the city’s citizens. Unfailingly polite and helpful, our hosts at each place we visited could not have been more gracious in sharing their food, drink and expertise. I want to give a special shout out to our guide, Jesus Benitez, who never got stumped, however obscure the questions we asked. All this while driving through traffic and speaking a foreign language, no less.